In this comprehensive blog post, Charles Lazarus, the founder of Us R Toys, will explore the origins of Promart Super Children’s store and its transformation into the first Lazarus’ Charles store. Delving into the history of Us R Toys, this post provides a fascinating look at how this beloved toy store chain eventually rose to prominence and faced a decline.
The company will analyze spin-off brands like Kids R Us and Babies R Us, which have expanded their product range. They will also focus on promoting video game sales and opening their inaugural store in Rockville, Maryland. This move will strengthen their position in the toy market, and we will delve into their expansion and innovative strategies in the subsequent discussion.
We shall delve into the contributing factors that led to the eventual bankruptcy and decline of the retailer R Toys. However, it is important to note that this analysis is incomplete without examining the challenges faced by the company during its peak years, both in its flagship stores and online presence.
Finally, before concluding our exploration of the history of Toys R Us, it is important to discuss the potential for future expansions under this iconic brand, particularly in Europe and Australia, and the international impact it could have on markets like these.
Transformed into a toy kingdom, Toys R Us originated from Charles Lazarus’ inaugural shop in 1948 named Children’s Bargain Town in Washington, D.C., And uncovered.
The Inaugural Shop of Charles Lazarus
Following the war, Charles Lazarus was inspired by the post-war baby boom and the needs of families to open a small shop in Washington, D.C. In 1948. He started by selling baby furniture and continued to make sales, allowing his company to thrive and his initial idea to be well performed.
From Furnishings to Playthings
He began stocking toys and baby furniture in the supermarket to cater to the growing demand from consumers. Customers who frequented Lazarus’ shop started asking for toy products for their children. To create a unique identity, he used the letter ‘R’ in reverse to make the name stand out even more.
In 1966, Lazarus acquired Interstate Department Stores, and his business became even more successful. He rebranded his store to Children’s Supermarket in 1957, realizing that toys could be easily replaced with larger amounts or much more easily. Once he bought a high-quality piece of furniture, it would last for years. Lazarus had an epiphany when a customer returned a broken toy and asked to buy another one. He realized that selling toys in larger quantities and at a higher turnover rate would be beneficial.
Growth and Advancements
Reducing prices for customers resulted in larger markdowns on large purchases, leading to the need to frequently replenish new inventory. Additionally, the extensive variety of toys available was a key factor contributing to its annual sales of nearly $2 billion dollars by 1985. By introducing groundbreaking ideas to the retail sector, expanding its number of stores, and becoming a publicly traded company, Toys R Us underwent substantial growth in the 1970s.
Charles Lazarus was also one of the first to use retail predictive analytics, ahead of the retail industry. He had the most advanced computing system in the retail world, which allowed him to make informed purchasing decisions and track daily sales data from every cash register in every store. This is a prime example of how he became a cultural phenomenon, as sales for the Cabbage Patch Kids toy began to rise when he realized that they looked ugly but kids almost never sold.
Finally, Lazarus made employee stock options available as an incentive for performance, which increased employee loyalty tenfold. Many managers and executives who performed well enough to earn these stock options stayed loyal to the company for their entire professional careers, making Us R Toys one of the companies with the highest employee retention rate in the industry.
Moreover, the 1980s witnessed a significant increase in cultural brand awareness due to:.
Offshoot Brands – Kids R Us & Babies R Us
Toys R Us created the baby products market, which focuses on Babies ‘R’ us and children’s clothing brands such as Kids ‘R’ us, in order to broaden its scope.
History of Toys R Us: Online Representation & Main Store
In the late 90s, Toys R Us recognized the importance of having an online presence and launched toysrus.Com. This allowed them to stay competitive in the growing e-commerce market and reach a wider audience.
The introduction of toysrus.Com represented a noteworthy achievement for the corporation as it extended its retail activities into the online realm.
In addition to their digital expansion, Us R Toys has also opened their flagship store inside a Ferris wheel, which includes games, toys, and multiple floors showcasing its iconic products.
May not have ever been among the top 10 biggest retailers in the sector, but.
This impressive Times Square location became synonymous with fun-filled shopping experiences for children and adults alike until its closure in December 2015.
The Fall & Insolvency of Toys R Us
The growing list of retail stores closing and going out of business joined it. Unfortunately, the failure of Us R Toys led to mounting obligations from digital vendors.
Shutting down all Kids ‘R’ Us stores by 2003
Us R Toys closed all its stores in an effort to focus on their core business, as they were not saving enough from their financial struggles.
Reorganizing a debt portfolio valued at $5 billion
In September 2017, US R Toys filed for bankruptcy protection due to their massive $5 billion debt, leading to the closure of hundreds of stores across the United States as they tried to stay afloat and restructure.
Despite their efforts to restructure, Toys R Us was unable to remain competitive in the ever-changing retail market, eventually shuttering all of its stores.
The closure of Toys R Us in the United States had a significant global impact, leading to the shutting down or rebranding of stores outside the US and changing the cultural and retail landscape of the world’s history.
In certain countries, like Australia, all 44 sites were shut down.
Smiths Renaming Toys ‘R’ Us Stores
In South Africa, toy retailer Smiths Toys acquired and rebranded multiple former Toys ‘R’ Us stores.
This ensured that these establishments would keep catering to patrons with a fresh identity.
Australia Shutting Down All 44 Branches
Australia witnessed the shutdown of all 44 of its Toys R Us stores.
This resulted in numerous employees losing their jobs and customers being deprived of their cherished toy store.
Despite these shutdowns, Asia still maintains a significant presence with more than 470 functioning Toys R Us stores spread across different nations.
Rejuvenation & Future Strategies for Toys R Us
This signals a chance for the final comeback of a brand that was founded by former lenders and executives of a company called Toys R Us Kids. Thanks to them, the brand is now better than ever and has a rich history.
Their objective is to develop captivating encounters for patrons while remaining faithful to the cherished toy vendor’s origins.
Reintroduction as TRU Kids
Two smaller branches have already been set up, with additional sites in the works.
Additionally, WHP Global obtained a dominant stake in TRU Kids Brands, further strengthening their dedication to revitalizing Toys R Us.
Trademark applications for Toys R Us Land, Park & World
“Toys R Us World,” “Toys R Us Park,” and “Toys R Us Land” are names that have been registered as trademarks, suggesting that thrilling endeavors such as amusement parks might be in the works.
It’s evident that there are significant aspirations in store for this beloved trademark and a potential revival of Toys R Us.
4 Key Moments in the History of Toys R Us
The Origin of Toys R Us’ History
In 1957, the first official Toys R Us store was established in Rockville, Maryland, ultimately transforming into Children’s Super Mart and subsequently Children’s Bargain Town. The store, founded by Charles Lazarus in 1948, showcased distinctive features such as the Dr. G. Raff mascot and a design adorned with rainbow stripes.
The Fall of Toys R Us
Due to the rapid changes in consumer preferences and the mismanagement of their e-commerce presence, Toys R Us failed to adapt quickly enough. The heavy burden of debt and increased competition from online retailers also contributed to their downfall.
The Reasons Behind the Popularity of Toys R Us
R Toys has gained popularity for its vast selection of toys at competitive prices, focusing on creating shopping fun for children and partnering with manufacturers of limited edition products, like the mascot Giraffe Geoffrey, through exclusive marketing strategies.
A Fascinating Trivia About the History of Toys R Us
Toys R Us once held a significant share in the video game market during the late 1980s-1990s through their dedicated video game sections, known as “R-Zone,” which showcased major gaming consoles and games.
To learn more about the historical background of Toys R Us, refer to this source.
Conclusion of the History of Toys R Us
“Is there still a need for toy stores?” One might ponder, following the downfall of Toys ‘R’ Us. And that alone fails to encompass the magnificence and appeal of the original and more expansive establishments, but Toys ‘R’ Us presently operates within specific Macy’s Department stores. Demonstrating that even renowned brands must adjust in order to endure, TRU Kids has resurrected the brand with fresh trademark applications like Toys R Us Land, Park & World despite grappling with bankruptcy and the shutting down of stores across the globe.